Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
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2009

Make a custom Kindle cover

by: Chica

Make a custom Kindle cover
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Interested in making and selling Kindle covers using our design and pattern? E-mail chicaandjo@chicaandjo.com to learn about becoming an authorized seller.

If you’re a fan of reading, you’re probably a fan of the Kindle, Amazon’s awesome wireless reading device. And if you’ve never heard of Kindle, you should check it out, because the Kindle is taking the reading world by storm. The Kindle is compact, lightweight, easy to operate, and usable in direct sunlight. The best part is that its memory can hold thousands of books at once, out of hundreds of thousands that are available for download!

Like any good electronic device that you’ve invested money in, you’ll want to protect your Kindle with a cover. Ideally, it will be a useful and protective cover that’s also inexpensive. And it would be nice if it could prop the Kindle up for table-top reading or let the Kindle lay flat for hand-held reading. Oh, and it’s got to look crazy cute, too!

Tall order, right? There are some covers available out there, but none that quite suit me. Besides, why buy when you can make your own?

So that’s just what I did. And I’m gonna show you how to make one, too! It’s easier than you think. Before we get into the instructions, though, here’s a video showing you just how the case works.

But first, a word about Kindle models, sizes, and other devices…

Amazon has been through several versions of the Kindle, including the original Kindle 1 (no longer available), the Kindle 2, and the Kindle 3G. The latest version is the Kindle Fire with full-color display. Each device is a different size, so be sure to choose the right set of measurements in my tutorial below so that your case fits your device!

Amazon Kindle

Once you know what device you have, you need to pick between two methods for holding the device in your case. Some of them have keyboards that lend themselves well to the “pocket” approach, but others (like the Fire) have larger screens that make the “corner elastic” approach more usable. I’ll address both methods in the tutorial below, so as you go through the steps, follow the “POCKET” or “ELASTIC” steps as appropriate.

Kindle case with pocketKindle case with elastic

iPad coverHAVE ANOTHER DEVICE? – For those of you with other devices that I haven’t provided measurements for, such as the Kindle DX or the Barnes and Noble NOOK, we’ve put together a custom Kindle case formula that you can use to calculate the measurements for a case for your device.

WANT AN IPAD COVER? – Don’t bother with trying to convert this tutorial to fit your iPad — check out our new iPad cover tutorial for exact directions.

Now you just HAVE to have one, right? Okay, let’s get to it!

You’ll need about a half a yard of fabric. You can have some fun here and use just about any fabric you like, as long as it’s not super thin or super thick, either of which will give you trouble. Regular cotton quilting fabric (that you see rows and rows of on the back wall in any fabric store) works great and comes in hundreds of fun patterns.

for POCKET holder: for ELASTIC holder:
Cut three pieces of your fabric using the appropriate measurements for your Kindle model.

CUT 2 PIECES: CUT 1 PIECE:
Kindle 1 6 1/4″
x
22 1/2″
7 1/4″
x
5″
Kindle 2 6 1/4″
x
23″
6 1/2″
x
5″
Kindle 3G 6″
x
23″
6 3/8″
x
5 3/4″
Kindle Fire 5 3/4″
x
23″
6″
x
4 5/8″

Kindle case cover sleeve

Cut three pieces of your fabric using the appropriate measurements for your Kindle model.

CUT 1 PIECE: CUT 1 PIECE: CUT 1 PIECE:
Kindle 1 6 1/4″
x
22 1/2″
6 1/4″
x
8″
6 1/4″
x
15″
Kindle 2 6 1/4″
x
23″
6 1/4″
x
8 1/2″
6 1/4″
x
15″
Kindle 3G 6″
x
23″
6″
x
8″
6″
x
15 1/2″
Kindle Fire 5 3/4″
x
23″
5 3/4″
x
8″
5 3/4″
x
15 1/2″

Kindle case cover sleeve

You’ll also need some 1/2″ wide elastic. The only colors I can usually find in stores are black and white, but if you search online, you may be able to find colored or patterned elastic.

Several readers have given us some great ideas for alternatives to white elastic. One suggestion is to sew a narrow tube of fabric and slide the elastic inside, creating a fabric-covered elastic that matches your case. The other suggestion is to use an elastic headband, which can be found in many colors in the hair accessory section of most stores, or sometimes at the dollar store.

for POCKET holder: for ELASTIC holder:
Cut one piece of elastic at least as long as your fabric is wide (about 7″ is good). Cut one piece of elastic at least as long as your fabric is wide (about 7″ is good).

Cut 4 pieces of elastic that are each 3″ long.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Next you’ll need some really stiff cardboard, or ideally, some thick chipboard. You want something sturdy and strong, that won’t fold easily (which means regular cardboard boxes are a big no-no). You can find good cardboard on the back of a notebook or in the cover of a composition book, but my favorite place is the inside of an old binder.

Just slice the cover of the binder open with a craft knife and remove the perfect chipboard that’s waiting inside. What a great use for an old binder that was headed for the trash!

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

Cut five pieces of chipboard, using the appropriate measurements for your Kindle model. As you cut each one, mark its “piece number” on it with a pencil, so you don’t mix them up. It won’t show later, and it will make assembly much easier.

Kindle 1 Kindle 2 Kindle 3G Kindle Fire
Piece #1 7 1/2″ x 5 3/4″ 8″ x 5 3/4″ 7 5/8″ x 5 1/2″ 7.5″ x 5 1/4″
Piece #2 3/4″ x 5 3/4″ 3/8″ x 5 3/4″ 3/8″ x 5 1/2″ 5/8″ x 5 1/4″
Piece #3 7 3/4″ x 5 3/4″ 8 1/4″ x 5 3/4″ 7 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ 7 3/4″ x 5 1/4″
Piece #4 3/4″ x 5 3/4″ 3/8″ x 5 3/4″ 3/8″ x 5 1/2″ 5/8″ x 5 1/4″
Piece #5 3 3/4″ x 5 3/4″ 4″ x 5 3/4″ 4″ x 5 1/2″ 3 3/4″ x 5 1/4″

Kindle case cover sleeve

With you’re pieces all cut, you’re now ready to sew! Note that all my measurements assume that you will use 1/4″ seam allowances on all sewing. Anything more than that will cause too much bulk in the corners.

for POCKET holder: for ELASTIC holder:
Take the smallest piece of fabric and fold it in half, wrong sides together, so that the longer sides are at the bottom and the shorter sides are on the left and right. Make sure the folded edge is at the top.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Then fold each corner down so that it meets the bottom edge, and pin in place.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Take one of your pieces of chipboard (doesn’t matter which; they should all be the same width) and center it on the fabric, using it as a guide, and mark either side on the fabric with a pen.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Now sew a vertical row of stitches right where you’ve made each mark.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Then trim the corners off if there is much excess (will depend on your model’s measurements).

Kindle case cover sleeve

You’ll now have a pocket that looks something like this:

Kindle case cover sleeve

Now take one of your long pieces of fabric and place it face up on the table, with one of the ends in front of you. Place your pocket on top, lining up the bottom edge with the bottom of the long piece of fabric. Pin it in place, then flatten out the corners to get the bottom edge as smooth and flat as you can.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Take the other long piece of fabric and lay it on top, face down, with the bottom ends lined up. Pin in place.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Sew along the bottom edge (remember that 1/4″ seam allowance!) with the sewing machine.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Fold back the top piece of fabric and you’ll see your little pocket sewn inside. Use your finger to puff out the corners of the pocket.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Line up the pocket’s sides with the sides of the bottom piece. Pin in place. It will look a little squished, but just focus on the side edges and make them as square as possible.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Fold the top layer of fabric back up over the pocket, keeping the pins inside.

Take the smallest of your three pieces of fabric and pin the four short pieces of elastic to the corners, diagonally. Make sure that the elastic goes all the way to the edge of each side.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Use the sewing machine to run a quick row of stitches along each end of each piece of elastic, to hold them in place. Sew as close to the edge of the fabric as you dare.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Don’t worry about them being really secure at this point — you’re just trying to keep them in place for the next step.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Put this piece of fabric face down on the next largest piece of fabric, all the way to one side, and line up the ends. Pin and then sew the ends together.

Kindle case cover sleeve

When you lay the fabric out, it will be the same size as your other large piece, but will have the elastic corner piece on one side.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Put the remaining large piece of fabric on top, with right sides together, and pin together at the elastic end. Sew the short end together, again at the elastic end.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Next you’ll add the elastic band. Use a ruler to measure 2 1/2″ up from the row of stitches and mark it. Do the same on the left side. Slip the elastic in between the two long fabric pieces (like meat in a sandwich) and line it up with your marks. Let it stick out either end, and pin it in place.

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

Now for the big sewing! Take it to the machine and sew up the long, right side of the piece, and then again on the long, left side. Don’t sew the top shut! After it’s sewn, you can trim off the excess elastic.

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

Flip the whole thing inside out. You should have a loose tube which is open on one end.

for POCKET holder: for ELASTIC holder:
On the other end, you’ll have an elastic band on one side and a fully-formed pocket on the other.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Kindle case cover sleeve

On the other end, you’ll have an elastic band on one side and a set of elastic corner bands on the other.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Kindle case cover sleeve

Now take piece #1 of your chipboard and stuff it inside the tube. It should be very snug, and if your measurements are all right and you used 1/4″ seam allowances, it should fit just right.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Push the chipboard all the way down to the bottom of the tube, nice and tightly, and you should have a good, firm base.

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

for POCKET holder: for ELASTIC holder:
The pocket should have nice corners and be just the right size to fit your Kindle. Your pocket’s depth will depend on which device you have and which measurements you use. (This photo shows a Kindle 1 pocket.) Go ahead and test your Kindle now and make sure it fits well, because if you have to re-work something, now’s the time to do it!

Kindle case cover sleeve

The elastic should be stretchy enough to slip your Kindle inside but also hold is securely. Go ahead and test your Kindle now and make sure it fits well, because if you have to re-work something, now’s the time to do it!

Kindle case cover sleeve

Make sure the chipboard is still all the way at the bottom of the tube, then take the piece to the sewing machine and run a row of stitches all the way across the top of the chipboard, as close as possible to the board. You might find it helpful to use a zipper foot on your sewing machine, but the regular foot worked fine for me.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Now put piece #2 of the chipboard into the tube, and shove it all the way down to the row of stitches you just did. Then take it to the machine and sew another seam as close as possible to this new piece of chipboard.

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

Continue with pieces #3 and #4, sewing a row of stitches after each one. Finally, put piece #5 in place. (Aren’t you glad you numbered these?) With all pieces in place, there should be about an inch or so of fabric hanging off the edge. Use scissors to trim that to about a half inch.

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

All that’s left to do now is close up the final seam. Start by folding one flap in and tuck it down next to the chipboard.

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

Then fold the other flap in so that the folded edge lines up with the first one.

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

With a needle and thread, use a slip-stitch to sew the seam shut, and you’re done! (Not sure how? Watch our Sewing 101 video lesson to learn how to sew a slip stitch.)

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

The finished case is one big piece that folds up around your Kindle, with the enclosure at one end. You can fold it up around the Kindle for carrying, or prop it up like an easel when you’re using it.

for POCKET holder: for ELASTIC holder:

Kindle case cover sleeve

Kindle case cover sleeve

Kindle case cover sleeve

Kindle case cover sleeve

Kindle case cover sleeve

Kindle case cover sleeve

We’ve made lots of Kindle cases so far that we can show. Each one has a completely different personality because of the fabric chosen, but they’re also different because they are different devices.

Here is a Kindle 1 case with a Kindle inside.

Kindle case cover sleeve

Here’s a finished Kindle 2 case with a Kindle inside. The Kindle 2 is so much thinner than the 1 that the case is so nice and compact when folded flat. I really love this striped fabric, don’t you?

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

And the case folds nice and flat so you can hold the Kindle in your hand for easy reading. And all my Kindle-reading friends say that the best part is the way you can prop it up on a table if you get tired of holding it.

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

Kindle case cover sleeveKindle case cover sleeve

Jo’s husband has a Kindle that he loves, and he often likens it to the fictional handbook after which the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series of books is named. So when his birthday came up recently, I knew I had to make him a Kindle cover emblazoned just like the original Hitchhiker’s Guide, with the famous title “Don’t Panic”. He loved it!

Kindle case cover sleeve

Kindle case cover sleeve

And here’s the newest model, the Kindle Fire, with the elastic straps in the corners.

Kindle case cover sleeve

AUTHORIZED SELLERS
Do you like this cover but are hesitant about your sewing skills? Would you rather just buy one rather than sew your own? Well, here’s a list of our Authorized Sellers who we have approved to make and sell covers using our design. Each seller has a different style, so check them all out, and feel free to contact them to see if they can make just the right cover for you!

Are you interested in making and selling Kindle covers using our design and pattern? Send us an e-mail at chicaandjo@chicaandjo.com to learn about becoming an Authorized Seller.

Make a custom Kindle cover
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420 comments so far:

  • 1
    Toni 04/11/2013 at 10:05 am

    Wow, Thanks so much for this, I will be making one for my Kindle Fire this weekend, this is awesome. Best part is I do Papercrafting and already have some chip board.

  • 2
    Barbara 06/20/2013 at 7:20 pm

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial. Instead of chipboard I used two icecream container lids – they were just the right height, and easy to cut with scissors. I just made it a pocket to slide in and out of, but I love this design.

  • 3
    Jasón 08/28/2013 at 11:54 pm

    What a really awesome tutorial you have here. Could you please submit the measurements of the fabric and carboard for a Kindle Paperwhite? I wanna make one cover case for my Kindle and tried to figure out the right measurements for that model, but I can’t do it and I don’t want to do it bad. Thanks for your help, and please keep doin’ this, it’s amazing!

  • 4
    Ciara 11/16/2013 at 12:12 pm

    I think I could figure out the measurements for the paperwhite, only I’m stumped on if the pocket would be best or the elastic? I’ve not yet bought my kindle and maybe I’ll figure it out once I get it but do you have a suggestion your feel would work best?

  • 5
    Chica 11/16/2013 at 4:57 pm

    Ciara, I just took a look at some pictures of the Kindle Paperwhite and considering that there is no full keyboard on the bottom, I would lean towards the elastic version if I were you. I think the pocket would end up covering up the screen. Hope that helps!

  • 6
    Jasón 11/21/2013 at 6:42 pm

    Yes… I think the elastic version is the best option. I have calculated the measurements according to the values you have posted in tables. I could upload them so that you can look over and correct them.

  • 7
    Maria 12/12/2013 at 12:04 am

    Thank you for the really great instructions. I made my first cover a few months ago, it turned out really well. The new one, I made with brown leather looking vinyl on the outside and a red Batik flannel on the inside to prevent scratches. Thanks again,

  • 8
    Rae 01/09/2014 at 8:33 pm

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for posting this!

    I’ve been staring at this tutorial for a few days – I’ve been itching to make one since I got a Kindle Fire HDX for Christmas. Being in South Florida, all the cases in stores either were sold out, ugly, over priced or I just didn’t like it. So, the logical conclusion of course was to make my own! The best part was, I found an old three-ring binder we were getting ready to toss, and I used fabric I’ve had sitting in my fabric bin for so long I don’t even remember when I bought it. Haha

    The only thing I noticed an issue with for the Kindle Fire HDX case while following the formula was I had way too much extra fabric at the bottom. The formula says to add three inches, personally I had to cut two inches off the bottom at the end! Other than that, it worked perfectly. Thank you so much for posting this!

    Now that my Mom and sister just got their new tablets and saw my case, they’re begging me to make them one haha.

  • 9
    Chica 01/10/2014 at 6:11 pm

    Rae, I’m so glad to hear of your success. Thanks for sharing your tip about the extra fabric. I admit that I set that measurement a bit long in the formula to be sure that everyone would have enough fabric — I would hate for somebody to do all the work and then find out at the end that it’s too short! I’m sure your mother and sister will enjoy the cases you make for them.

  • 10
    Nat 01/21/2014 at 7:19 am

    Thanks for the pattern! It was awesome! On the elastic one, I got a little confused about adding the elastic band. If you could add another picture on that side I think it’d help!

    I’m so glad I didn’t have to pay $50 to protect my new toy! The cover looks awesome!

  • 11
    Maria 02/04/2014 at 7:07 am

    Tried the headbands, they look nice but Don’t hold up for very long. Next time I will make a casing to match my cover instead.

  • 12
    Crista 03/29/2014 at 10:57 pm

    I made this today for my kindle fire HD. I’m very “beginner” (I’ve made a grand total of 4 things on my sewing machine before this one & I’m 100% teaching myself.) I’m so happy with how it turned out! I only had 7/8 inch non rolling elastic on hand, it’s a bit weighty for this but it does hold it good. I would love to make another one that stands up horizontally though instead of vertically. Sadly I use my kindle to watch Netflix while I’m washing dishes, more than I read books ;( any chance you could give me instructions for that? I’m not “ready” to figure that out myself yet. Thanks so much for this tutorial…it was perfect for a bigger like me and it doesn’t look like I’m a beginner!

  • 13
    Julie 11/11/2014 at 10:36 pm

    I made this cover in a couple of hours and it looks amazing! I have a Paperwhite, so I used your custom Kindle case formula to come up with the dimensions I needed. A tip for anyone making this for a Paperwhite: mine measures 1/4″ thick, so I made both piece 2 and piece 4 1/2″ thick like the directions state. There is a small gap between the Kindle and the cover on the top of the Kindle side/not the closing end. To remedy this, should I make it again (there’s only one Kindle in my household), I will make piece two 3/8″ long and piece 4 the same 1/2″ to make a more snug fit. I used braided elastic for the corners and band. This is an amazing tutorial – thanks so much for sharing it!

  • 14
    Delph 11/12/2014 at 5:23 am

    Hi ! I did it for me, I have a new Kindle paperwhite (french model)
    Thanks a lot !http://feelibellule.blogspot.fr/2014/11/ptite-housse-pour-liseuse.html

  • 15
    Chica 11/14/2014 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks for the tips, Julie!

  • 16
    Chica 11/18/2014 at 7:20 am

    Delph, c’est magnifique!

  • 17
    Lizzy 01/24/2015 at 6:26 pm

    For the elastic, I used elastic from an old pair of underwear and it worked fine. It didn’t even really look bad.

  • 18
    choesang 02/09/2015 at 5:49 am

    can u teach me how to make cover for kindle paperwhite with 6inch?

  • 19
    Chica 02/09/2015 at 7:28 am

    Choesang, you can use the custom Kindle case formula we provide as part of our tutorial to make a cover for any size case.

  • 20
    not creative 07/30/2015 at 2:55 am

    wow, this looks really nice. I am not the craft-y type, but I plan to print this and take it to a tailor. reading my kindle with a fun cover would be so much more fun, thanks!

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We are two best friends sharing our creative journey. You never know what we will be into each time you visit. We could be throwing a unique party, refinishing a flea market find, or whipping up a new cupcake recipe. We invite you to join us for the ride as we tackle life one project at a time!

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